In the village of Atuleer in Sichua province in China, 15 children between the age of 6-15 climb over 2,500 feet just to get home from school.
A bamboo ladder secured to a sheer cliff face, according to ABC News, is the children’s only access to their homes in the poor corner of China’s mountainous west. Only 72 families reside in this area, surviving mainly off their harvested potatoes, walnuts and chili peppers.
After pictures circulated of the children’s dangerous journey to their final destination, authorities confirmed that a set of solid steel stairs would be built in place of the ladder. This will fill as a temporary stop-gap measure while officials seek a longer-term solution, ABC reports. About 700 million civilians have been taken out of poverty following China’s economic reformation in the 1980s, while less than 10 percent of the population still suffers.